Effective Charity Fundraising Strategies: Strategic Planning, Marketing, Fundraising Campaigns, and Volunteering

Charity Fundraising Strategy Example

Charities rely on the generosity of the public to fund their vital work. They must have a robust and effective fundraising strategy in place to ensure they can continue their work.

Creating user personas can help you to better understand your audience and how best to reach them. Using them can help you to optimise your marketing, events and fundraising activities.

Strategic Planning

An effective fundraising strategy can make all the difference for nonprofits. A plan helps to identify the most important fundraising tactics to implement, while also providing accountability and a way to evaluate performance.

By focusing on the most effective strategies for your charity’s specific audience, you can increase fundraising success and improve overall performance. For example, if your audience is largely older donors, it’s likely more effective to focus on major donor stewardship than to create social media campaigns.

To ensure your fundraising efforts are aligned with your mission and goals, create a strategic plan using data from previous fundraisers to set realistic objectives. You can use a goal-setting acronym like SMART to make your goals Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timed. Having clear objectives can foster greater team productivity and help to unite your team around the common goals of the organization. In addition, a digital style guide can ensure that all online fundraising materials (like donation pages and social media posts) are consistent with the organization’s brand.


Marketing is the activity that brings in the revenue your nonprofit needs to achieve its goals. It can include everything from advertising campaigns to launching a monthly lottery for your supporters.

Effective charity marketing starts with understanding the emotions that drive people to give. Using this insight, you can create content that resonates with your target audience. It’s also important to continually review and update your strategy as fundraising trends change over time.

For example, Carol might donate to a medical organization that researches Alzheimer’s because of her family history with the disease while Nate supports refugee relief out of his sense of civic duty. You can connect with each of these audiences by creating relevant messaging on social media and email.

For your website, consider adding donation blocks and buttons that make it easy for visitors to contribute. You can use tools like HotJar to analyze how people move through your site, and Google Analytics to see what motivates them to keep donating.

Fundraising Campaigns

Developing a fundraising strategy requires charities to set goals for the future. These can include identifying a number of major gifts to secure as well as a target donor acquisition and retention rate. These goals should be measurable and aligned with your charity’s objectives.

This process also involves creating documents like gift pyramids, which help to break your overall goal down into specific tiers and calculate how many gifts of each size are required to meet your target. It is also important to create a case for support, which will explain why donors should give and how their contributions will make an impact.

You may also wish to test and select a range of different fundraising techniques. Having templates to use for each of these can reduce your workload as they will be ready to go when you need them. The downloadable toolkit provides a Fundraising Techniques Checklist that can help you assess each of these.


Volunteering is an excellent way to get involved in your local community, whether you want to help people who are ill, disabled or simply need assistance with daily tasks. Many nonprofits rely on volunteers to help run the organization, and volunteering offers a great work-life balance for people who may not be able to commit to a full-time job.

When creating a fundraising strategy, it is important to include a plan for recruiting new supporters. This step is crucial, as it can help your nonprofit reach its fundraising goals more effectively. To maximize the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts, it is essential to have a clear digital style guide that ensures all online marketing materials, from donation pages to social media posts, are aligned with your brand and messaging. This will make it easier for supporters to find your nonprofit, and can also boost the conversion rate of visitors who become donors.

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